The Federal Government has commenced a process of certifying the National Geo-sciences Research Laboratories (NGRL) in Kaduna to ensure that results of mineral sampling analysed in the laboratory meet international standard.
Mr Isaac Okorie, Deputy Director in charge of the Director-General Office, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), disclosed this in Abuja.
Thr NGRL is one of the centres of excellence established by the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) to conduct analytical tests on rocks, minerals and water in line with the responsibilities of the agency.
Okorie said as part of efforts to certify the laboratory, some vital basic equipment needed for the process had been fixed.
He said that some equipment that required to be in operation for 24 hours nonstop had been settled.
He added that the three sources of power, including public power supply, three standby generators and solar system for the equipment had also been put in place.
Okorie, however, noted that the whole process for the certification would have been a thing of the past but due to lack of political will and funds that delayed the procesd.
According to him, the achievements made so far toward the process of certifying the laboratory is from the little fund made available to the NGSA by the government.
“We still need more to buy more equipment, expand the building and others,” he said.
He decried the way and manner in which miners took mineral samples to overseas for analysis while paying exorbitant foreign currencies for the analysis.
He said the advantages of the certification were enormous as the results of minerals analysed from the laboratory would be recognised and accepted at the international level.
“It will also save hard currencies for the mining operators and would create massive employment for the teeming youth. It will build relationship between Nigeria and International community and also reduce the cost of exploration and give clearer geology of minerals, ”he said.
Okorie added that the laboratory would not only serve as mineral analysis centre but would also as a training centre for the allied industries, universities, security agencies, among others.
He said the agency engaged a world leading company, Society Generale de Souvelliance (SGS) for the certification.
He said it would also train the personnel on how to operate and conduct mineral analysis.
He said that the certification of the laboratory would take two years to complete if adequate fund was provided.